On Tuesday, Lebanon’s caretaker Defense Minister, Zeina Akar, issued a decree to freeze the validity of licenses to carry weapons from December 23rd, 2020, until February 1st, 2021.
This applies to all citizens with the exception of military personnel, diplomats, officials, as well as those accompanying former and current ministers, deputies, politicians, political party leaders, and religious leaders.
This is part of Lebanon’s crackdown on ‘celebratory shooting‘ ahead of New Year’s Eve which was initiated at the request of the director of Beirut Airport Security Service, Brig. Gen. George Doumit.
Doumit’s main concern is the safety of passengers aboard commercial planes flying above Lebanon, but he is doing all of Lebanon a favor.
The country is accustomed to witnessing bullets being sprayed in the air like fireworks during any occasion, from weddings to funerals, and especially on New Year’s eve and day.
This is an awful tradition that takes the lives of many. In September, Lebanese footballer Mohammad Atwi died after being hit by a stray bullet that was being fired during a funeral procession.
When it doesn’t result in casualties, it very often leads to property damage. This time Lebanon is taking legal action to try and stop these regretful accidents from occurring.
Notably, this decree comes a day after the murder of military photographer, Joseph Bejjani, who was shot dead by unidentified assailants on Monday morning.